But why a new MINI when BMW couldn’t keep up with the demand for the old MINI?
BMW launched its first MINI in 2001 and since then has sold over 875,000 vehicles and it admits that it has never been able to keep up with the demand. However in the words Dr Michael Ganal, a member of the BMW board speaking at the Paris Motorshow:
“The MINI brand has a rich heritage and there is a strong sense of tradition. It might have been an option to build on the erstwhile model. But MINI is different. MINI today is an entirely modern brand. Customers can expect this premium brand to come up with something new time and again concerning product substance, technological innovations and safety features.”
And so in line with the stated aim of keeping the MINI new and fresh Dr Ganal went on to list some of the features of the new MINI:
“In the future, it will be even more fun to drive a MINI: The new MINI is equipped with even more state-of-the-art high-tech features. Completely new four-cylinder engines for all models guarantee a considerable increase in performance at a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20 per cent.
The new, electro-mechanically assisted power steering now responds even more precisely. An optimized chassis and a new six-speed transmission further enhance the characteristic MINI go-kart feeling.
We have enhanced the vehicle’s substance in terms of safety technology, standard equipment and interior materials. With six airbags, the new MINI is the safest car in its class. And we have improved another one of the MINI’s unique premium features: The new generation offers even more possibilities for customization, an even wider range of surfaces, materials and color combinations as well as many new special equipment options.”
Along with the new MINI comes an expanded production facility at Oxford that will enable BMW to produce 240,000 units a year.